Understanding Grammar - Making predictions
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich are talking about the World Cup and make some predictions about the matches, players and fans in Russia. The language focus is on the grammar we use to make predictions. Your task is to use this language to make your own World Cup predictions. As always, we also have a new football phrase for you to guess and news about our World Cup competition and World Cup programme. Enjoy!
Jack: So; it’s kicked off.
Rich: Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to the World Cup for ages.
Jack: Who do you fancy?
Rich: What do you mean?
Jack: Who do you fancy to win? Who do you think is going to win?
Rich: Ah ... I’m not sure. I suppose all the usual suspects like Brazil, Germany, France, Argentina will be there or thereabouts.
Jack: I reckon Spain’s going to do well.
Rich: Yeah, I did too, but they’ve just sacked their coach - two days before the World Cup so I’m not so sure now.
Jack: What about a dark horse? I think Uruguay might surprise a few people and do well?
Rich: Yeah, good shout. My dark horse and you’ll probably laugh at me for saying this but my dark horse is actually England.
Jack: England? Really? I’ll believe that when I see it.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?
Rich: In this week’s podcast, we have the first of four World Cup podcasts.
Jack: That’s right. During the World Cup in Russia our podcasts are going to be connected to the World Cup in some way and are all part of our World Cup Community programme.
Rich: What’s our World Cup Community programme?
Jack: It’s a four-week programme of activities connected to the World Cup that will help you with your English. You can sign-up now for free on the Premier Skills English website. You need to click the tab on the homepage that says ‘live’ to join the programme.
Rich: It will be great to see you there and discuss the World Cup as well as practising English together.
Jack: This is our first World Cup podcast and we are going to help you with grammar and the language you need to make predictions.
Rich: And we’re going to make a few World Cup predictions and ask you for your predictions, too.
Jack: And don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to try to guess - connected to the World Cup of course.
Rich: We’ve got five predictions. Do you agree with our predictions or not?
Jack: OK - so prediction number one is the big one. Who is going to win the World Cup?
Rich: So, Jack. You said that you think Uruguay will do well. You said that they’re a bit of a dark horse but do you think they’ll win the World Cup.
Jack: I think they’ll do well but I’m not sure that they’re going to win it. Maybe they’ll make the semi-finals.
Rich: So, who are you going to go for? You can’t sit on the fence.
Jack: I’m going for Brazil. They’ve been waiting for four years after that horrible defeat against Germany. They’ll beat Germany 2-1 in the final. What about you? Who’s going to win?
Jack: Really? Are you sure?
Jack: Right, our second prediction. Who do you think will be the best fans? Which fans will stand out? Who’s going to make the most noise?
Rich: I think people will remember the Peru fans. I heard on the radio this morning that there are loads of Peruvians in Russia - it’s the first time they’ve qualified since 1982. They’ll make loads of noise.
Jack: I think Iceland fans will be great. They do this viking clap where they clap slowly and then should ‘huh’. It’s amazing to see and it’s their debut so there’ll be loads of them.
Rich: Cool. Our third prediction is about goals. Who’s going to win the Golden Boot?
Jack: Who’s going to finish as the top scorer? I’m going for Lionel Messi - I think Argentina will do really well and it’s about time Messi played well for Argentina.
Rich: Yes, Argentina have some great players but I actually think Sergio Aguero will score more goals than Messi.
Jack: So, you think Aguero will win the Golden Boot?
Rich: Nope. Harry Kane.
Rich: Harry Kane.
Jack: Really? Are you sure?
Jack: Our fourth prediction is about the Premier League. The Premier League is going to have more players at the World Cup than any other league. Who do you think will have a good World Cup, Rich? I think Kevin De Bruyne will have a good tournament.
Rich: Good shout. He’s a good player.
Jack: I reckon De Bruyne is going to be the star of the tournament!
Rich: Yes, I think Belgium will do well.
Jack: I think David Silva and David De Gea will be the best players for Spain and Mesut Ozil will have a good tournament and Senegal’s Sadio Mane, too. What about you, Rich?
Rich: Not sure … but I think Dele Alli will do well and Marcus Rashford is going to have a great tournament and Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker ..
Jack: All the England players?
Jack: OK, let’s move on to our fifth and final prediction. What do you think will be different in this World Cup? Do you think anything strange is going to happen?
Rich: What do you mean?
Jack: For example, I think something might happen with the VAR system. It’s new, so something is bound to go wrong.
Rich: No, I think it will all go well unless you think England winning the World Cup would be strange?
Jack: In the last section, we made five predictions. There are two common ways to make a prediction: you can use ‘will’ or ‘going to’.
Rich: There is not much difference in meaning between the two, but when we use ‘think’ we use ‘will’ more often, for example ‘I think England will win the World Cup’, but you can say ‘I think England are going to win the World Cup’ too.
Jack: Yes, they are very similar. If you are less sure about your prediction you can use a modal verb such as ‘might’. I said I think something might happen with the VAR system.
Rich: You could also use phrases such as ‘likely to’ or you can add ‘probably’ or ‘possibly’ to will or going to add more or less certainty.
Jack: Or if you are really sure you can say something is bound to happen which means you’re certain something is going to happen.
Rich: We look at more of the language of predictions and have some activities for you to do on the page below this podcast on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: Right, this week’s task is to tell us your World Cup predictions.
Jack: We want you to make five similar predictions. Here are the questions we want you to answer.
Number one: Who will win the World Cup?
Number two: Who will be the best fans?
Number three: Who’s going to win the Golden Boot?
Number four: Who will be the best player from the Premier League?
Number five: Will anything strange or different happen?
Rich: Write your answers in the comments section below and see if you can be the first with your predictions.
Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?
Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was group stage. This is the first round of lots of football tournaments such as the World Cup. It’s like a mini-league usually of four teams who play each other once or twice.
Rich: Well done to Elghoul from Algeria, Ahmed Adam from Sudan, Willcasavill from Costa Rica, Buchiy from Japan, and Kwesimanifest from Ghana. You all got the right answer! What’s this week’s football phrase?
Jack: This week’s World Cup football phrase is **** *******. This is the name we give to the nation that arranges and organises an event such as the World Cup or Olympic Games on their territory. Russia is the **** ******* for the World Cup this year.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.
Jack: And hit the live tab on the homepage to join our World Cup Community programme and check out our predictions competition on the homepage.
Rich: If you have enjoyed this podcast or found it useful, leave us a rating or review and that will help other people find us.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?
I suppose all the usual suspects like Brazil, Germany, France, Argentina will be there or thereabouts.
I reckon Spain’s going to do well.
My dark horse, and you’ll probably laugh at me for saying this, but my dark horse is actually England.
Who are you going to go for? You can’t sit on the fence.
There were a few tricky words in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words.
In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich made five different predictions for the World Cup. Take a look at these sentences from the podcast:
I think people will remember the Peru fans. They'll make a lot of noise.
I actually think Sergio Aguero will score more goals than Messi.
Marcus Rashford is going to have a great tournament.
I reckon De Bruyne is going to be the star of the tournament.
Two of the main structures we use to make predictions are: will and going to. These structures are often used in the same way and there is often little or no difference in meaning. However, there are a couple of things to watch out for:
- will is used more with 'think' because we are making a guess: I think people will remember the Peru fans = this is my prediction but I don't have any evidence for this
- going to is often used when there is some evidence for the prediction: De Bruyne is going to be the star of the tournament = my prediction is based on De Bruyne being a great player
To show you are less or more sure of a prediction:
When we make predictions we are often not 100% sure about our prediction. We can use different words to show this. Here are some examples from the podcast:
I think Uruguay might surprise a few people and do well.
I think something might happen with the VAR system.
You'll probably laugh at me for saying this, but my dark horse is England.
It’s new, so something is bound to go wrong.
We can use modal verbs such as might, may and could to show that you are not 100% certain. You can also use adverbs such as probably and possibly to show that you are less certain. To show that you are 100% sure you can use phrases such as bound to and certain to.
If you would like to learn more about the past continuous, try the exercise below, or take a look on our Learn English website.
In the podcast, Rich and Jack made five predictions about the World Cup. We want you to make your World Cup predictions. Try to use the language for predictions we've looked at in this podcast. Here are your questions:
- Who will win the World Cup?
- Which team will have the best fans?
- Who's going to win the Golden Boot?
- Who's going to be the best player from the Premier League?
- Will anything strange or different happen?
What do you think?
In this World Cup podcast, Rich and Jack made five predictions. Look at the task above. What are your predictions?
Do you have any other predictions?
Which team are you supporting in Russia?
Remember to write your guess at this week's football phrase, too!